Coyote Hills

How Independent is Open Coyote Hills?

A few months back we told you about a new group called Open Coyote Hills here. Their friendly looking green and white signs have appeared all over Fullerton to show support for Chevron’s West Coyote Hills plan.   The development was voted down by the city council last year, but thanks to the ongoing threat of a lawsuit by Chevron, will be brought back before the council tonight, July 12.  No doubt some of Open Coyote Hills’ illustrious members will be on hand to state their support for the 760 home development.

An April 1 email from Scott Starkey of West Coyote Hills forwards a message introducing Open Coyote Hills.  Additionally, the West Coyote Hills website features a direct link to Open Coyote Hills, where they are described as “an independent group of Fullerton residents who joined together to support West Coyote Hills.”


Friends –

I wanted to call your attention to the email below from Open Coyote Hills, a recently formed group that wants West Coyote Hills to be approved so the land can be enjoyed. Their website is extensive and worth checking out.

Thank you for your interest in West Coyote Hills. We will keep you posted on our efforts to bring back a low-density plan for West Coyote Hills that preserves 55 percent of the property as open space and generates about $38 million to local agencies to improve schools and services.

Scott Starkey
[email protected]


—–Original Message—–
From: OPEN COYOTE HILLS [[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 11:58 AM
To: Scott Starkey
Subject: Open Coyote Hills website now online

Scott –

Our new website is now live and we’re reaching out to Fullerton residents to help spread the word.

The site contains a brief history section and an extensive FAQ — both of which should be of interest to all residents. It also offers those
who are excited about the plan a way to show their support by adding their names to our Supporters page.

Can you please pass this information along to those on your West Coyote Hills interest list?

Thank you,

The Open Coyote Hills Steering Committee
Molly McClanahan
Bob Hayden
Jack Dean
Debra Pember
Chris Heusser
Rick Crane
Tom Dalton
Katie Dalton

However, if you hover over any of the links to Open Coyote Hills you’ll see a short hidden text referencing emcdesignca, a design firm found online here:

Funny thing is, one of EMC Design’s clients is none other than West Coyote Hills.  Click on the “Client Work” link, then on “West Coyote Hills” to see images of the website and familiar color brochure promoting the development.

Did the same design group that produced the website for West Coyote Hills, the development plan, also create the website for Open Coyote Hills, an ostensibly independent group of familiar Fullertonions supporting that plan?


39 thoughts on “How Independent is Open Coyote Hills?

  1. Molly McClannahan has done more harm to Fullerton than good, the Daltons’, Crane, Heusser equally harmful.

    Go away for good and leave us alone.

    Cant wait to see who the architect is going to be that’s going to design the “interpretive center”.

  2. Could it be that someone at Open Coyote Hills (it is a very long list) happend to know someone at EMC Design, a local firm?

  3. These phony “grassroots” groups are always put up by the developer.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  4. Fullerton is no longer rural. We have enough hiking trails already, and I’m sick of protecting coyotes so they can come and kill our pets. So what’s the big objection, unless it’s aesthetic?

    At this point, what’s the point in stopping development? Personally, I’d like to see them drilling for oil instead, but that’s not gonna happen.

  5. I personally designed and built the Open Coyote Hills website. It resides on my company’s server and I have maintained it and updated it daily on a volunteer basis since it went online.

    I have no idea what links you are hovering over on the website, but I have never heard of emcdesignca before now and do not know of any “hidden messages” to this firm anywhere on the website.

    Dude — what are you smoking?!

    1. Somebody should be paying Jack for what he does. He does more for taxpayers on a Tuesday afternoon than most people will do in their lifetime.

  6. Bulk email software will typically covert all the links inside, even if they are forwarded.

    I dont think there’s any conspiracy here.

  7. PJ :
    Personally, I’d like to see them drilling for oil instead, but that’s not gonna happen.

    You’re not well informed, because this is exactly what will happen and may be happening already. Chon does retain mineral rights you know, so it’s the best of both worlds — they get to drill for oil and demand a zone change to build houses too. It’s the Jack Dean magic property right of two zoning designations at once.

    1. It’s the Jack Dean recognition that zoning at its core is a form of government intrusion. Property rights start with absolute rights down to the center of the earth and up to the outer reaches of the atmosphere. Any limitation, whether wise or unwise, represents an unnaturally imparted limitation by government that the people should vigilantly question…again and again.

      1. Mr. Thompson, does “absolute rights” mean one has the right to open a nudey bar in a residential neighborhood?

        1. Assuming that providing such a service is legal, yes. I’m sorry, was Chevron planning on building a mega-nudey bar? I missed that in the proposal.

    2. Eek! Oil is evil!

      By today, I would venture that ALL property in California is controlled by the federal, state and local politicians and their crony capitalist pals. Deal with reality and do the best you can.

  8. “It’s the Jack Dean magic property right of two zoning designations at once.”

    Highest and best use, baby!

  9. So Jack has cleared that up.

    But Grover, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that you hit the nail on the head and that Chevron paid EMC Design to do the work. Take it all the way to Chevron directly discussing the whole program with community supporters offering to pay EMC, etc… My question to you is, so what? Is there something wrong with a private company that wants to profit on their assets working with supportive community members to get government out of their way?

    1. Chris, good point.

      I think there is a local collaborative group that fits the same MO. That is, they receive support from multiple sources some of which are big fat corporations looking for community support.

  10. Since when was co-opting government to the point of having the general plan written to suit qualifies as “getting government out of the way”? Chevron practically gets to write their own rules, unlike any individual – unless that individual were Larry Ellison or something. And yes that’s bad, one set of rules for everybody else, and another customized set of rules for Chevron.

    There’s no shortage o developer-industrial-complex hangers on hoping to make a buck on the fringes of any project, and dopey ‘property rights’ advocates who think a zone change is a property right, but I think the worst among the peanut gallery are those with a contrived worldview where sometimes it’s bad when an organization has too much influence on policy, and other times it’s fine and dandy, depending entirely upon whether you like said organization or not.

    1. Grover didn’t mention anything about Chevron co-opting government in order to get the General Plan written to suit. But since you’ve changed the subject… if a developer has a great idea that individually elected Councilman agree with and they (Chevron) propose the wording of general plan amendments to facilitate that, as long as no money or value is illegally changing hands, again, who cares? Understand that I make this point on the assumption that no quid-pro-quo exchange of value has occurred in order to make it happen. I support individual rights and that would extend to the individual rights of corporate stockholders to enjoy the freedoms extended to them by the Constitution.

      And no, I’m not saying that Chevron is constitutionally guaranteed to be allowed to do this development. I am saying that I support a starting point of allowing individual property owners to take full advantage of the highest and best use of their property unless there is egregious and compelling reason to do something about it. People wanting to keep their view of somebody else’s vacant land is not an egregious reason.

    2. Nipsey, Chevron has money which equals power and influence which means they tend to get what they want. If you had their talent on staff or retainer, you could do the same thing.
      For years I and many of my friends have been advocating for the City to simplify its development process. It is too onerous for small, non-Fortune 500 developers to work with. Chevron has so much at stake and the resources to achieve their goals that they are able to move forward without going bankrupt.

  11. Chris Thompson :
    Grover didn’t mention anything about Chevron co-opting government in order to get the General Plan written to suit. But since you’ve changed the subject…

    Did I hurt your feewings by changing the subject to.. exactly what is happening, and how your oft-repeated “getting government out of the way” is not remotely it.

  12. Rex the Wonder Realtor :
    Why should providing any service be illegal? That’s an unnatural intrusion on property rights.

    Chris Thompson’s Fried Chicken and Waffles and Iron Smelting and Pole Dancing and Fireworks, coming soon!

    1. nipsey’s all beige or off-white houses, no street parking and enforced limitations on the number of children you’re allowed to have coming soon!

  13. Chris Thompson :
    nipsey’s all beige or off-white houses, no street parking and enforced limitations on the number of children you’re allowed to have coming soon!

    I’m not the one advocating center of the earth to tippy top of the atmosphere absolutes and extremes, you are. I actually believe in a middle ground.

    1. Reading comprehension is key nipsey. I did not advocate for it. I said that property rights start there…and they do.

  14. I am sick of all the people who have no problem living in their houses (Which destroyed wild lands) and now want to stop furthur development. If you care so much tear down your houses and convert the land to open space. But you won’t do that because you think you are something special. Well you are not you aare nothing more than a bunch of NIMBY’s.

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